Solbit asks, “Hey, when is a haystack not hay?”

Dear Nicalai,

We went walking along Cannon Beach when Nona said, “Hey, look at that big Haystack out there in the water!” We had a long view down the coast, and I didn’t see anything that looked even a little bit like a hay field.  Just a great big rock dominated our view.  I said, “Nona, that’s not hay.  That’s a big rock, almost a mountain right there in the surf.”

Hey, when is a haystack not hay? When it’s a rock!

Hey, when is a haystack not hay? When it’s a rock!

Nona explained, “Solbit, we people have fun naming things with the wrong word just because the shape reminds us of something else. You’re right, that’s a big rock, but doesn’t it look like a haystack?”  Well, I had seen haystacks before but never that big and tall.  On the other hand, I had to admit that it had the shape of a haystack.  “So, you see, Solbit, that’s why they call it Haystack Rock,” Nona instructed me.  OK, whatever.

Another weird thing about the way people name things.  The place where we were visiting in Oregon that day is named Cannon Beach. Now, I know what a cannon looks like, and that beach definitely does not have the shape of a cannon.  Why would someone name a lovely place for walking and relaxing “cannon?”  Go figure.

Getting up close to some of the big rocks in the water, I could see that hundreds — maybe thousands — of small creatures lived on those rocks.  The creatures had hard shells, and the shells covered the rocks.  When the tide was high, they would be covered in water.  When the tide was low, you could walk up and touch them, but you would have to work hard to pull one off the rock. They must get super glue from the hardware store, or maybe they make it themselves? Wonder what it’s like to spend part of your day under water and part of your day on dry rock?

I’m fascinated by the life forms on these rocks.  Papa says that maybe I should study marine biology. I guess that’s something about studying life forms of the seas, huh?

I’m fascinated by the life forms on these rocks.  Papa says that maybe I should study marine biology. I guess that’s something about studying life forms of the seas, huh?

What a strange life form I saw under water here! It looks like a star, but it isn’t a star; it’s a living thing.

If I counted right, the sea star had 5 arms, flexible, too. I wonder if sea stars come in orange, like me?  To me this one looked sort of pinkish.

If I counted right, the sea star had 5 arms, flexible, too.
I wonder if sea stars come in orange, like me?  To me this one looked sort of pinkish.

We looked around the edges of the rocks and could see other things living in the pools of sea water.

I think Nona said that one of those creatures was something called an urchin. Can you see it there in the middle?

I think Nona said that one of those creatures was something called an urchin. Can you see it there in the middle?

So many things get names because they look like something else — a haystack, a star.  I’m going to start a list of those kind of names.  If you think of some, please send me your list so I can add it to mine.  OK?  Thanks!

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

September 2015

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  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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